Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Farewell to Willie’s Place

On Sirius XM, the “Willie’s Place” channel is advertised as “The honky tonk that never closes.” But the entertainment and truck stop mecca an hour south of Dallas that bears the same Willie’s Place moniker is taking its final bow under that name.

The last day of operation for the fuel stop, restaurant, entertainment venue and saloon at Carl’s Corner in Hillsborough County is Monday, Jan. 31. New owners will reportedly take over Feb. 1.

The confirmed business development was a bit slow to see daylight. Some of us heard the news two weeks ago from OOIDA Member Jan McCarter, who was at Willie’s Place and heard the news from employees. Later, she posted on Facebook a scanned copy of a note that was alleged to have been written by Willie Nelson himself.

Employees told Land Line about the closing in confidence a few days ago, and now co-owner Steve Gilcrease is confirming some details to local media.

Financing was the biggest obstacle, Gilcrease said, as the complex took out a multimillion-dollar loan and could not pay it back.

“We tried to negotiate it down, but everything fell through,” Gilcrease told KWTX.

The banks filed a foreclosure lawsuit against the company, WN Truck Stop Inc., in April 2010. According to KWTX, a new owner will be handed the keys on Tuesday, Feb. 1.

At the time of this posting, it was not known what would happen to the “Willie’s Place” satellite radio channel which broadcasts from the theater at the truck stop.

Carl’s Corner is named after the truck-stop’s owner, Carl Cornelius, who incorporated the 15-acre complex and serves as its mayor. He and Nelson are long-time friends.

Nelson, Cornelius and Gilcrease are partners in a biodiesel venture known as BioWillie. The BioWillie biodiesel plant located in back of the truck stop will remain in Nelson’s control, according to the TV report.


  1. Who Lost a Poker Hand Now.....Love ya Willie.......

  2. Although the place has been in disarray for a number of years, it was still a "Landmark" of sorts. It is kinda sad to see yet another era coming to a close. It has been somewhat of an oasis on sure can't park & manuever at the Loves in Hillsboro!

  3. i SURE HOPE THE NEW OWNER USES THE THEATRE IN A WISE FASHION.. i ALWAYS LIKED TO STOP AT THE NEW STATION AFTER THE REBUILD.. IT IS A GREAT FACILITY.. iF THEY ADD A TIRE SHOP, AND show movies, then we would all stay there longer.. change the gift shop to something a little more useful, and add free wifi with a 50 gal purchase.. you know, 24 hr access, and we will spend time there.. dont change the restaurant.. and the bar?? come on guys, truckers cant drink and drive..

  4. so sad willie and carl worked so hard to get this together i hope willie,s place on xm will stay cause if doesnt i,m not haveing xm any more bu keep up the good work guys love you all

  5. Angel aka Miss ImpalaJuly 9, 2011 at 11:14 AM

    Restaurant is still there, but it is the same old Iron Silket.... So disappointing....

  6. Its sad to lose a great truck stop and restaurant to a nasty choke and puke!!! All the chain trk stop restaurants blow

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